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Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner


in this issue:
Bentley Grant to Help Elkmont Manufacturer Create Jobs - Release (ADECA)
Vulcan Materials to cut 200 jobs, consolidate regions of operation- Birmingham news
Auto industry on a roll in Alabama (editorial)... - Huntsville Times
OUR VIEW: UAB must have strong support -- and money -- to fully seize its potential... - Birmingham News





Bentley Grant to Help Elkmont Manufacturer Create Jobs 




MONTGOMERY-Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded a $250,000 grant to enable a manufacturer in Limestone County to expand its facilities and add 200 additional jobs.


The grant to the town of Elkmont will be used to install a new water line and other equipment to provide service to the town's Industrial Park-North. The water project is necessary to support an $11 million expansion planned by Electricfil, an engine and transmission sensor manufacturer.


The company currently employes 80 workers but plans to add 75 new jobs within 18 months and 200 within four years, according to Electricifil officials.


"Helping Alabama communities to grow and develop the services and amenities that attract new business and encourage existing businesses to expand is vital to our state's economic future," Bentley said. "I am pleased to provide investment in the future of Elkmont and Alabama."


The project will fund installation of 6,200 feet of 12-inch water line from the town's water tank to the industrial park. It also will pay for the installation of pumps and other equipment necessary for fire protection.





Vulcan Materials to cut 200 jobs, consolidate regions of operation

Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 8:22 AM     Updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 9:02 AM



Birmingham News





Auto industry on a roll in Alabama (editorial)

Published: Monday, December 19, 2011, 7:01 AM

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - When a secret contract dubbed "Operation Rosewood" was penned in 1993 to bring Mercedes Benz to Alabama, few would have ever thought of Alabama becoming one of America's top automobile manufacturing states .

Mercedes unquestionably put Alabama on the radar of other automakers when it chose a site near Tuscaloosa for its first full assembly plant outside of Germany.

Since then, Honda has built a production factory near Talladega. Hyundai has opened a full assembly plant in Montgomery.

The resulting supplier chain factored into Toyota's selection of Huntsville for its sprawling engine plant. Second-tier companies are also benefiting from car plants in Tennessee and Mississippi.

The Birmingham News reported last week that Alabama now ranks 5th in U.S. auto production and is on pace to become No. 3 as the Alabama plants ramp up production with additions to their assembly lines.

Alabama's 2010 auto output reached nearly 698,000 vehicles in 2010, finishing behind Michigan with 1.6 million; Ohio, 1.1 million; Indiana, 890,000, and Kentucky, 739,000, according to The News.

If all goes as projected, Alabama's annual auto production would near 900,000 in the next couple of years.






OUR VIEW: UAB must have strong support -- and money -- to fully seize its potential for the benefit of our community

Sunday, December 18, 2011, 5:45 AM  

What's the old saying -- "Spend a dollar to make a dollar"?

What if you could spend a dollar to generate $16? You'd be digging under sofa cushions looking for every penny you could scrape up to buy into such a venture, especially if there were four decades of evidence showing the investment paid off.

So why isn't state government spending like crazy on the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where, according to a UAB-generated report last year, every state dollar invested generated $16.23 in statewide economic activity. That's a better return than peer institutions such as the University of California Los Angeles ($15.92); the University of Iowa ($15.81); the University of Wisconsin-Madison ($9.55); and the Georgia Institute of Technology ($7.85).

There are other numbers that make the case for stoking as much as possible a premier economic engine for the metro area and the state.

* UAB brought in close to half a billion dollars in outside research funding in 2009, about $270 million from the National Institutes of Health, according to UAB statistics. In 2010, UAB ranked 20th nationally in NIH funding, rubbing shoulders with the country's most prestigious schools such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins.


Birmingham News


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